An Open Source Interactive Visual Analytics Tool for Comparative Programming Comprehension

29 Jul 2022  ·  Ayush Kumar, Ashish Kumar, Aakanksha Prasad, Michael Burch, Shenghui Cheng, Klaus Mueller ·

This paper proposes an open source visual analytics tool consisting of several views and perspectives on eye movement data collected during code reading tasks when writing computer programs. Hence the focus of this work is on code and program comprehension. The source code is shown as a visual stimulus. It can be inspected in combination with overlaid scanpaths in which the saccades can be visually encoded in several forms, including straight, curved, and orthogonal lines, modifiable by interaction techniques. The tool supports interaction techniques like filter functions, aggregations, data sampling, and many more. We illustrate the usefulness of our tool by applying it to the eye movements of 216 programmers of multiple expertise levels that were collected during two code comprehension tasks. Our tool helped to analyze the difference between the strategic program comprehension of programmers based on their demographic background, time taken to complete the task, choice of programming task, and expertise.

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